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F150 To much + camber

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Veteran / Moderator
DanD profile image

Mar 24, 2008, 7:53 AM

Post #1 of 4 (1839 views)
F150 To much + camber Sign In

Ok you Ford guys; I need your advice.
My son just bought himself a 1988 F150 short box, 2wheel drive pick-up; nice clean pick-up. Went through the thing for safety and found that the front suspension & steering linkage were all tight and “looked” to be OK. The thing steers great, no pulling or wandering but looking at the front of the thing you can see that there is a ton of positive camber on the wheels.
But Like I said, the suspension is all tight and it steers ok. So I sent him on his way back to Oshawa, where he’s taking his automotive engineering degree; it’s about a three hour drive one-way from here in London.
Well he came home this weekend for Easter and by the time he got home, the two front tires (NEW TIRES) outside edges were worn right down to the cords; with metal hanging out.
As you guys know, this truck has the twin I-beam suspension (the solid beams) which gives you ever little cast/camber adjustment with the cam on the upper ball joint. Which I know now won’t be enough to bring this back to a negative camber.
I remember on the old single strait front axles, you use to just bend the I-beam until you got it close. But these have DO NOT BEND molded right into the casting of the I-beams?
At first I was thinking someone put the wrong front springs in the thing, raising the front end to high but the ride height looks & measures OK.
I’ve checked with my suppliers if there was a “problem solver” type of ball joint kit or some form of shim kit for the spindles but I’ve come up empty handed. What do you suggest I do or try?


Canadian "EH"

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 25, 2008, 10:32 PM

Post #2 of 4 (1823 views)
Re: F150 To much + camber [In reply to] Sign In

Hey Dan. Can't find out till Weds am - total alignment shop and personal friend opened his own shop and does all the tricky stuff for all area shops. It'll take a plain old phone call but he'll know how you deal with that. Something tells me there should be a different cam adjuster available for this - won't know till tomorrow........

Long retired now

Veteran / Moderator
DanD profile image

Mar 26, 2008, 6:58 AM

Post #3 of 4 (1820 views)
Re: F150 To much + camber [In reply to] Sign In

Sorry I forgot to add the fix.
It turns out that it was a combination of the ride height and excessive toe-in that made the wheels look like there was to much positive camber. Once the toe was set properly and we cut off the bottom ring of the coil spring, lowering the front end (approximately 1 ¾ inch) all the specs fell into place.
I normally wouldn’t cut springs but these were fairly new variable rate springs that the last owner put in and I was being cheap. LOL
We believe that the springs that were installed were meant for a big block engine, not the 302 that this truck has?
Just goes to show you that installing the proper parts and using the proper equipment (alignment rack, which I don’t have here at the shop) wouldn’t have caused this crazy problem, let alone buggering up a pair of new tires.
Plus, maybe if I wasn’t thinking with my wallet pressed against my forehead, I might have seen this without all the bullcrap I put myself through, trying to save a buck.
A good lessen learned or reminded of; It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the paying side of a vehicle repair or the being paid part; you still have to do it right; you can’t always cut corners.

Thanks for the reply Tom.


Canadian "EH"

(This post was edited by DanD on Mar 26, 2008, 7:15 AM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 26, 2008, 10:10 AM

Post #4 of 4 (1814 views)
Re: F150 To much + camber [In reply to] Sign In

Glad you got that straightened out. I was just about to call. Just of interest - I did raise the front height of my own 97 Chev C/K 2500 just 1.5 inch on the front to help with its behaviour while plowing snow and driving with the 800# or so plow down the road which is a blastCrazy (BTW for readers - GM uses adjustable torsion bars for ride height)

Did this with my friend on the high tech 4 wheel computerized machine and we started at 1.75 inches and couldn't get it withing spec for caster (smidge neg) so lowered just that 1/4 inch and it's at max adjustment with plugs out.

I was SHOCKED at how the small differences made wild changes in the alignment angles!

Dan - when you said this Ford wasted a couple tires in just a few hours drive I was shocked! Damn - I don't think I would wear out tires that fast if I tried!

Glad to hear of the fix Dan,

Long retired now

F150 To much + camber

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